I have recently received a fellowship position for the upcoming fall with a nonprofit corporation, Community Water Solutions (CWS), a group that partners with rural communities in developing countries to establish sustainable water treatment businesses. These businesses are owned and operated by women in the communities that they serve, and use simple, affordable technologies to enable the treatment, distribution, and storage of clean, safe drinking water. The maintenance and operation of these water treatment businesses is funded by revenue from the sale of drinking water, while the capital necessary to establish them is generated from fundraising activities.
During October I will be working in Northern Ghana with three other fellows, where we will be responsible for implementing a CWS water business in a new village. Once implemented, this business will provide a permanent source of safe drinking water for 700-1000 people in Ghana, where .9 of the 1.9 million residents lack access to improved sources of drinking water. All CWS water businesses that have been implemented thus far are now consistently selling water and earning enough money to not only sustain the businesses, but also to provide a small income to the men and women who work there. In fact, a woman who runs the center in Kasaligu, Ghana, has used her income to pay for her two youngest children to attend primary school. These children are the first in her family to ever attend school.
Community Water Solutions is effectively combating the water crisis in Ghana, and I am very excited to be working with them. As mentioned before, the capital necessary to establish these water businesses is generated through fundraising. If you are interested in supporting this endeavor, please contact me or you can contribute online.
Abby Volkmann CdeP 2008